The Water Crisis
Picture an average morning: wake up in the morning, take a shower, brush your teeth, flush the toilet, wash the dishes, make a cup of coffee, water the plants in the garden, and so on. What do those activities have in common? Water- an important part of our daily lives that we usually don’t think twice about. Perhaps surprisingly, the average person uses 100 gallons of water every day. It is important that we learn how to save water in daily life.
It’s easy to perceive water as a limitless resource, but the fact is in the United States we will face a water shortage within as little as 50 years. Currently, millions face a water crisis; specifically, 785 million people in the world lack access to safe water.
It might seem like there is an endless supply when water seems to magically flow out of the tap, but it’s important to understand the impacts of wasting this precious, vital resource.
Wasting water is bad for the environment in more ways than one. First, to filter and clean water so that it’s drinkable takes a lot of energy, time and money. There are many steps in the energy-intensive process of filtration: extraction, transportation, filtration, and more. Each step through the supply chain requires the use of non-renewable fossil fuels, thus contributing to your carbon footprint and global warming.
How To Start Save Water In Daily Life
There is a solution to this problem and it can start with you. By changing our water consumption habits, we can make positive impacts on this global crisis. Here are a few easy ways you can save water in your daily life.
Take shorter showers
The average shower is 8 minutes long. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a standard showerhead uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. That’s 20 gallons of water for the average shower. Try reducing your showers to 5 minutes. Try measuring your showers by listening to any five-minute song. We suggest Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” (which is under 4:35, so you’ll have some seconds to spare).
Switch to a low-flow showerhead
Speaking of standard showerheads, install a low-flow one. By simply switching to a low-flow showerhead, the average household can save about 2,900 gallons of water every year. Simple and effective.
Turn off the water while brushing your teeth
We’ve all left the tap running while brushing our teeth, but by turning off the faucet you’ll be saving a lot of water. Before brushing, wet your toothbrush and fill a glass to rinse your mouth. That way you’ll be good to go!
Use the dishwasher for full loads only
Every time you run your dishwasher, you use anywhere between 6 to 16 gallons of water, depending on the model. Newer EnergyStar models use 6 gallons or less per cycle, plus they save on electricity.
Run the washing machine only when its a full load
The same thing as with the dishwasher: the key is running the machine only when it’s fully loaded. The amount of water used per cycle varies depending on the model. Generally, newer washers use 25 gallons per load and older models use about 40 gallons per load. EnergyStar clothes washers save on water and electricity- it’s a win-win! (Source) Pro tip: wash clothes in cold water to preserve energy.
Check for Leaks
Household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually! That certainly is a whole lot of water waste. Common leaks in the home are usually easy to fix. You can check for a toilet leak by doing a dye test: place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color appears in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak.
Curb outdoor water waste
As much as 50% of the water we use outdoors is wasted due to inefficient watering systems. Watering your lawn might be part of your weekly routine, but sometimes less is more. Do this simple test to see if your lawn needs watering: step on the lawn and if the grass springs back, it does not need to be watered. Be sure to inspect your irrigation system monthly for leaks or broken sprinkler heads. An irrigation system that has a leak even the thickness of a dime can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
Take your vehicle to the car wash
It might seem like you would conserve water by doing the job yourself, but the truth is, you’re likely wasting significantly more water. The Environmental Protection Agency has released regulations to promote water conservation and nowadays commercial car washes use less than half of the freshwater you would use when washing your car at home. (Source) But if you do wash your car at home, follow these tips: fill a pail of soap water then hose down only to rinse the soap off, and add a nozzle spray with a shutoff feature to help control excess flow.
Steam vegetables instead of boiling
Steaming vegetables is a better option than boiling for two reasons: it uses a less amount of water and they retain nutrients better making it a healthier option, too!
Don’t play with the hose or sprinkler in the summertime
It might be something the neighborhood children love doing, but running through the hose or sprinklers just for fun is a huge waste.
How To Save Water In Daily Life Wrap-Up
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With depleting water resources globally, it’s each of our responsibility to learn how to save water in daily life. These ten ways to save water are just the tip of the iceberg. From washing your car to cooking in the kitchen, there are dozens of ways to save water. Now that you’re a water warrior, go out and spread the word.